It’s that time of year again—cold and flu season. The CDC says it’s going to be a particularly nasty flu year. So what can you do to protect you and your family? Everybody got the flu shot, you double-downed on fruits and vegetables, and invested in family-sized sanitizer. But holiday stress can still wreak havoc on your immune system. Never fear: Staying healthy this winter may be easier than you think. Supercharge your immunity this season in five simple steps:
1. Put on your immune armor. Take a supplement containing EpiCor, a powerful blend of nutrients that works like a multi-vitamin for your immune system. EpiCor not only activates the body’s first and second line of immune defenses, it also acts as a prebiotic, feeding friendly bacteria in the gut. That’s an immune strengthening triple play. Bonus: If you do get sick, EpiCor helps you recover more quickly. And it’s safe for the whole family, children ages four and up.
2. Cut your sugar intake. This can be especially difficult during the holiday season, but studies show that excess sugar suppresses the body’s immune response. Try baking your favorite cookie recipe with half the sugar, or with a natural substitute like Stevia.
3. Get some sleep. It’s o.k. to leave the party early. Sleep is critical to protecting the body’s immune response. Studies reveal consistent rest not only helps fight off cold and flu viruses, but also speeds up recovery time.
4. Stay hydrated. While drinking copious amounts of wine and eggnog often dominate the holiday beverage list, those tasty treats do not hydrate the system. Drinking water, and adding a healthy dose of replenishing electrolytes to the mix, is one of the easiest steps you can take to protect yourself from seasonal nasties. Doctors say keeping mucous membranes moist reduces the chance of a cold or flu sticking around in your nose or lungs.
5. Bundle up. You probably know that it’s not actually the cold that makes you sick. But your body’s immune defenses function better when you’re warm. Both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practitioners have known for centuries that your neck area leaves you vulnerable to pathogens. Modern science backs this up as well: Experts say wearing a neck scarf protects that area’s large blood vessels that carry IgA, an important immune-system protein.